DALLAS / FORT WORTH METROPOLITAN AREA
Tempo Mechanical first year warranty service:
(972) 579-2000 or Metro (877) 94-TEMPO (83676)
Service after expiration of first year warranty call Tempo Service:
(972) 579-2000 or Metro (877) 94-TEMPO (83676)
- Introduction/Purpose – Section 1
- Performance Specifications – Section 2
- What I Can Expect from My New Air Conditioning and Heating System?
- Energy Saving Tips – Section 3
- Warranty Procedures – Section 4
- When to Call
- Who to Call
- Filters / Humidifiers – Section 5
- Standard Fiberglass Filter
- Pleated Media Filters
- Electronic Air Cleaners
- Electrostatic Air Filters
- Condensate Problems – Section 6
- Thermostats – Section 7
- Type, Methods of Operation and Programming
- Air Conditioner / Heat Pump – Section 8
- Operation and Homeowner Maintenance
- Operating Tips – Section 9
- Gas Fired Furnace – Section 10
- Operation and Homeowner Maintenance
- Options for After the First Year Warranty has Expired
- Preventive Maintenance Service Agreements – Section 11
- Equipment Model and Serial #s/Closing Date – Section 4
The purpose of this manual is to allow you to obtain the maximum comfort and efficiency from your new air conditioning and heating system. The short amount of time it will take you to read this material can result in the economical operation and maintenance of your system. This is purposely a non-technical document. More detailed operation and maintenance information is contained in the manufacturer’s literature.
In accordance with the Residential Warranty Corporation™ Limited Warranty Program, and current NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) guidelines, Tempo Mechanical Services, Inc. warrants the performance of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) system to maintain an average room temperature of within 4°F of the specified cooling thermostat setting of 78°F; and 5° or 6°F of the specified heating standard of 70°F*. This temperature difference may be more pronounced in “open” style 2-story houses due to the natural convection (rising) of warm air. The standard for measuring the air temperature is to place the thermometer at the center of the room 5’0″ above the floor level. The base heating design temperature criteria is 70° F indoors @ 22° F outdoor air temperature. In the cooling mode the design criteria is 75°F indoors @ 100° F outdoor air temperature. These standards on which your system is sized assume all windows are to be draped and during times of extreme outside air temperatures, those approaching the design conditions, the equipment will run continuously. This is not harmful to your air conditioner.
Basic air balance is the responsibility of the homeowner. If after seasonal balancing, during the first year of occupancy, your HVAC system fails to meet the above warranted criteria, Tempo Mechanical will balance your airflow to meet these criteria without charge. Seasonal balancing adjustments will need to be made by the homeowner. An example of this would be the kitchen area or laundry room where maximum air flow is required in the cooling season to offset the heat generated by the appliances, and conversely, in the winter heating season the air flow required is minimal for the same reason. Doors must be left open to allow proper airflow. Today’s architectural designs that feature open two-story ceilings adjacent to stairways often have the same problem due to the natural convection (rising) of the heated air. These air balance modifications should be made seasonally by the homeowner and are accomplished simply by adjusting the damper located behind the register in the affected area.
*Note: Consult your builder for certain exceptions to this standard. There are specific communities built for the “first time homebuyer” that have an HVAC design criteria of a 20 degree F. indoor/outdoor temperature difference on a 100 degree F. outside temperature day. This alternate criterion exceeds the minimum standard set by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
With the rising costs of electricity and gas service, it is important to know some simple techniques you can use to minimize these expenses. Below are some practical tips to help you.
- Set your cooling temperature up to 78°F. Dehumidified air at this temperature is very comfortable. This is particularly effective if used in conjunction with tip #2.
- Run your ceiling fan at all times a room is occupied. The air movement will help to evaporate the moisture from the skin and cool you. The room will actually feel 4° to 5° cooler than the indicated temperature.
- Set the thermostat and leave it set unless the area is going to be unoccupied for an extended period of time.
- If your house has more than one system, the maximum temperature setting difference between the two units should not exceed 3 degrees F.
- Keep the window coverings closed at least 75% during the hot periods of the day. This is most important for houses that face either east or west. Keep in mind that if your house faces east, the peak cooling demand maybe in the morning.
- Keep door and windows closed as much as possible.
- KEEP YOUR SYSTEM FILTERS CLEAN!
- Keep your outdoor unit clean as well. The accumulation of dirt, grass or other debris in the coils of your outdoor unit inhibits the transfer of heat and causes your equipment to run hotter, longer, and at a higher pressure.
- Try to avoid doing laundry or heavy cooking during the heat of the day. Keep the laundry room door closed when the washer and dryer are operating.
- Houses with multiple systems must run both systems to achieve optimum performance.
- Be sure the fireplace damper is in the closed position for the summer as well as in the winter when not in use.
- Run bath fans for at least 10 minutes after showering or bathing to remove heat and humidity.
- Always run vent-a-hood when cooking to remove heat and steam.
Your new air conditioning system has been engineered and sized to keep your family comfortable during the hot Texas summers and warm during the relatively mild Texas winters at the lowest possible cost of operation. If the inside temperature has been allowed to reach an elevated level, and depending on the time of day and the outdoor temperature, it may take several hours to drop the temperature in your home to the desired comfort level. To help you be more comfortable, please follow these practices:
- On the really hot days (above 95°F) don’t let the temperature inside the house get more than 5°F above the desired temperature.
- Keep windows and doors closed and the air conditioner on during hot and humid periods.
- Replace or clean your air filters every thirty (30) days.
- When entertaining large groups on hot days, “pre-cool” your home and cut back on the amount of cooking and laundry during the heat of the day.
Your new HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) system is warranted for two (2) full years from the date you closed on your house. This limited warranty covers all parts, materials and labor for this period provided the system has not been abused or adversely modified by someone other than Tempo Mechanical personnel. The compressor in your air conditioner or heat pump has an additional three-(3) year extended “parts only” warranty. This warranty excludes labor, accessory parts and materials. Your furnace heat exchanger also has either a 10 or 20-year non-prorated “part only” warranty. Also, a small shipping charge may apply.
Every effort is made to complete all warranty calls within twenty-four (24) hours of notification (either by you or your builder). During peak periods this may not be feasible; however, Tempo Mechanical has dedicated “warranty only” technicians that service only our own installations and only for the one (1) year warranty period and are supported by our Service Department Technicians in severe weather. Therefore, with this limited customer base, prompt service is assured. After the initial warranty period has expired, the Tempo Service Department will handle all your service needs (972.579.2000). Tempo Service offers planned service and maintenance agreements at substantial discounts to Tempo Mechanical customers as well as service on an “as needed” basis. Click here to learn more about Tempo’s Preventative Maintenance Agreements.
Your warranty also covers the performance of the system subject to the limitations as outlined in the previous section – “Performance Specifications.”
When calling for warranty service, please tell the Customer Service Representative your closing date and describe the symptoms of your air conditioning or heating problem. Most other relevant data is easily and quickly accessible through our computerized service system. The dispatcher may ask you a few questions to determine a more exact nature of the problem. This helps to ensure that the proper technician and parts are dispatched to your house.
Warranty service is limited to “normal working hours” (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) except in the event of an emergency.
Emergency warranty service hours are defined as:
5 p.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday
8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
If you have a truly exceptional warranty circumstance, please call the service dispatcher to inquire about alternative procedures.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE REQUESTING SERVICE
Emergency conditions are defined as follows:
- 90° Fahrenheit or greater outdoor air temperature and air conditioning system will not operate.
- 45° Fahrenheit or less outdoor air temperature and the heating system will not operate.
- Water observed overflowing and threatening to damage ceiling or walls.
When should you call for warranty service?
You should call for Tempo Mechanical Warranty Service (972-579-2000) if any of the above mentioned conditions exist. Other typical warranty problems are listed below:
- Lights dim and the electricians have confirmed electrical wiring is in order.
- Obvious parts failure.
- Short cycling of A/C or furnace (unit turns on and off more than 6 times per hour).
- Excessive noise at supply air or return air grille.
- Ice forming at outside unit or at coil in attic.
What you should do before you call for warranty service:
To prevent the undue expense of a service call, you should always check the following items before requesting warranty service.
- Circuit breakers and disconnect switches: Make sure all breakers and switches are fully in the “ON” position. It is best to turn them “off” and then “on” again to be certain they are actually “on.” There is an A/C disconnect switch located on the outside wall adjacent to the condensing unit. The circuit breakers controlling the units are located in the main electrical panel and should be labeled A/C. The furnace disconnect switch, usually located in the attic, looks like an ordinary light switch but should be labeled “FURNACE.”
- Make sure the utility company has not interrupted electrical or gas service for any reason.
- Filters: Check for clean filters. Excessively dirty filters restrict airflow and can damage your HVAC equipment. We recommend that the filters be changed monthly.
- Registers and Grilles: Make sure that your supply registers are open in the area that is not cooling or heating properly. In no event should the registers be set so that more than 25% of the total system airflow is cut off. Care should be taken to be certain that furniture or other items do not block the flow of air to or from the registers and grilles.
- Thermostats: The thermostat must be set in the proper mode (either heating or cooling) and the setting must be below the indoor temperature for cooling or above the indoor temperature for heating in order for the system to operate.
NOTE: On mild but humid days, you can turn the thermostat down a few degrees and be more comfortable. This will cost you additional electrical expense; however, the air conditioner is also a dehumidifier and it will dry the air out and lower the relative humidity.
What is not covered under my first year warranty?
Typical service calls that are not covered by warranty and therefore will result in a chargeable invoice are:
- Dirty filters
- Improper thermostat programming
- Gas valve or gas line stop not open
- Homeowner supplied electrostatic filters causing lack of air flow
- Disconnect switches/circuit breakers in off position
- Acts of God (lightning, hail, etc.) abuse of equipment or utility service interruption
- Routine check-ups without a specific covered complaint
- Routine maintenance
- Debris or algae build up in condensate line
- Poor performance
Emergency warranty service hours are defined as follows:
5 p.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday
8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
There are many types of filters with varying degrees of efficiency and expense available today. A good quality standard 1-inch fiberglass filter is approximately 10% efficient and costs around $2.00. At the other end of the spectrum is the electronic air cleaner that is 99% efficient which filters out things such as mold and allergy spores, and can cost as much as $1,000.00 installed. Below is a brief discussion of these and other alternatives. A filter should be considered an investment as it protects the HVAC equipment and can keep your system running efficiently having a SIGNIFICANT impact on your utility expenses.
If you are changing an air filter located at your central heating unit, be sure to turn off the disconnect switch so that the electrical power to your furnace will be shut off.
If you are changing your air filter (or in your attic for any reason) use extreme caution when moving about. Attic platforms are built for professional service access. There are no handrails or other safety devices.
Standard 1″ Fiberglass Filter:
This is the most common filter used today. It will keep large particles from getting into your coils and fan motor but is not effective against small particulate matter. These filters may be located in the attic at the inlet to the furnace. If possible, for maximum efficiency of your system, these filters should be changed out every thirty (30) days.
Pleated Media Filters:
These are medium efficiency filters and range in percent efficiency from about 20% to 50% mostly depending on the thickness of the filter media. Typically, they are available in 1/2″, 1″, 2″ and 4″ widths. In most instances, no special modification to the return air system is required up through the 1″ filter thickness. Depending on the size A/C system you have installed, additional return air ductwork and/or grilles may need to be added. These filters need to be changed every 60 to 90 days with the exception of the 4″ style that usually needs to be replaced only every six months.
Electronic Air Cleaners:
Electronic Air Cleaners (EACs) represent the ultimate in residential air filtration. They consume very little power and clean the air of 99% of most particulate. They are extremely effective for the removal of smoke, mold and pollen spores. A properly sized EAC does not restrict airflow. They are typically installed at the air inlet to the furnace (usually in the attic; however, a status panel that reflects the operation and cleanliness of the filter can be mounted in the living space.
Electrostatic air filters:
Tempo Mechanical DOES NOT recommend the installation of electrostatic air filters in your Air Conditioning and Heating system unless the return air grille and duct system has been designed to compensate for the increased restriction in advance. The efficiency ratings of these and other types of filters can be misleading. For an accurate comparison of residential filtration efficiencies, the ASHRAE ‘92 Dust Spot test is the most meaningful. These highly advertised products are marketed as an inexpensive alternative to the electronic air cleaner but can in fact severely diminish the capacity of your air conditioning system by reducing the airflow to the living area. Please check with Tempo Mechanical before adding these filters to your system AS THEY MAY IMPACT YOUR WARRANTY COVERAGE.
In the DFW area, humidifiers can be helpful to people who suffer from dry throats or noses and have trouble breathing at night. They also help to replace the moisture in wood paneling furniture and wall coverings. Since the “run time” of a furnace is relatively short in this region, we recommend that the fan-powered type of humidifier be installed. The unit should be controlled by a wall-mounted humidistat that can set at 40% to 55% relative humidity. A humidifier requires a small amount of maintenance on about 60-day intervals during the heating season.
Condensate water is a natural by-product of all air conditioning systems. This water is formed on the surface of the cooling coil in the attic as the warm air passes over the coil made cold by the refrigerant. This moisture “condenses” out of the air by the same process as moisture forms on a cold glass of liquid sitting in a room. Under normal circumstances this water is carried off into your house drainage system the same as water from a sink or shower. If water is dripping into the occupied areas of the house the probable causes are as follows:
Primary drain line stoppage causing water to drain from secondary line.
RISKS OF NON-REPAIR
A drain stoppage in the secondary drain line would mean that there is no proper outlet for the flow of condensation from the cooling coil located in the attic. When the drains back up, the only available outlets are blocked and the water will overflow into the attic. There is a potential for significant ceiling damage.
COMMON OR NON-COMMON
This is a common problem in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Generally, the drain is clogged by algae build up over a period of months. Occasionally, rust deposits accompany the algae. The rust comes from the condensation reacting with the metal in the coil and the drain pan. This may or may not become a recurring problem. Some homes require twice yearly regular maintenance and others may never have a detectable problem.
Option 1: Utilize HVAC Service Company for regular maintenance.
Have your systems serviced by a professional heating and air-conditioning service company. This makes them responsible and there are anti-algae chemicals available that can be used as part of a regular planned maintenance agreement. These agreements are relatively inexpensive ranging from $50 a trip and up, depending on the total services covered under the contract.
Option 2: Self-maintenance for homeowners
Many homeowners will elect to perform some or all of their HVAC maintenance themselves. To prevent/reduce the problem of drain clogging, we recommend the following procedure:
- At least twice a year (preferably October and March) prepare a mixture of one part bleach to one part water to pour down the primary and secondary drain lines. Generally, one half gallon per system will be sufficient to prevent problems.
- The drains can be accessed by using a funnel to pour the mixture of bleach and water into the “P trap riser.” This is a 6″ high piece of PVC pipe that extends upwards from the drain line which is located (in most cases) off the cooling coil in the attic.
- Care must be taken to prevent the bleach from spilling. Bleach has the potential to remove color from carpet and floor tile.
In the vast majority of Tempo Mechanicals’ installations, one of two types of thermostats is installed. All Tempo installed thermostats are based on digital technology, which provides much more precise control of temperature fluctuation than the mechanical/electrical style of thermostat.
Some houses are fitted with a fully programmable thermostat(s). These thermostats will automatically change the temperature set point to have the house at the desired temperature at any specific time. This saves energy by not requiring the heating or cooling system to maintain an uneconomical temperature when the house is unoccupied. They have separate weekday, Saturday, and Sunday programs available. A detailed programming manual will be left for you to use as a guide in setting up your thermostat to operate your air conditioning and heating system in a manner that complements your daily routine. In addition, the Carrier offering has an “auto-changeover” feature that will allow the system to automatically switch back and forth between the heating and cooling modes in order to maintain a specific temperature.
Note: The thermostats on “HEAT PUMP” system equipped houses have an additional switch labeled either “Auxiliary Heat” or “Emergency Heat.” This switch will lock out the heat pump regardless of the outdoor temperature, and heat only with the gas furnace.
DIGITAL NON-PROGRAMMABLE (MANUAL) THERMOSTATS
Other houses have a digital, manually controlled thermostat with an LED temperature display. With this type of thermostat, you must manually change the temperature setting at the thermostat. The other switches operate as above.
These thermostats have either digital function switches or mechanical switches on the sub base to set the mode (heating – cooling or off) and a switch to control the operation of the fan. This control allows you to run the fan constantly or to turn the fan on and off as the air conditioner or furnace cycles.
TIP: For maximum comfort and more even temperature distribution throughout the house, try running the fan in the “ON” position. This will cause the air to mix continuously and help prevent the natural tendency for air to stratify vertically.
Your new air conditioner has been engineered and sized to keep your family comfortable during the Texas summers. If the inside temperature has been allowed to reach an elevated level, and depending on the time of day and the outdoor temperature, it may take several hours to drop the temperature in your home to the desired comfort level.
HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
What is a “HEAT PUMP” System?
A “heat pump” heating/air conditioning system offers the homeowner high efficiency air conditioning and the ability to heat your house with electricity, but without the operating expense of electric resistance heat. A heat pump simply operates as an air conditioner in reverse. As difficult as it is to imagine, there is heat in even the coldest air. A heat pump will extract this heat from the outdoor air and “pump” it into your house. Typically a heat pump operates 2.5 to 3.5 times as efficiently as an electric resistance heating system.
The heat pump thermostat operates in much the same way as an air conditioner thermostat. The major difference is that the heat pump thermostat will have an additional switch labeled “emergency heat” or “auxiliary heat.” This switch may be used to activate the back up electric resistance heating elements in case of equipment failure, in times of extreme prolonged cold weather or in the need for a rapid warm-up of the house after the temperature has been allowed to drop to an uncomfortable level.
To help you be more comfortable with your air conditioner OR heat pump, please follow these practices (refer to Figure #6):
- On hot days (temperature above 95°F) do not let the temperature inside the house get more than 5°F above the desired indoor temperature.
- Keep windows and doors closed, the window coverings 75% drawn and the air conditioner on during hot and humid periods.
- Replace or clean your air filters every thirty (30) days.
- When entertaining large groups on hot days “pre-cool” your home and cut back on the amount of cooking and laundry during the heat of the day.
- Do not block the return air grille with furniture or drapes.
- Maintain at least a 12″ clearance between your air conditioner and shrubs. Keep the outside coil clean of grass and leaves as this diminishes the ability of your unit to reject the heat from the house into the outside air. This also causes your unit to work harder and use more electrical power. If you notice a significant buildup of debris, this can be removed by spraying the condenser coil with a garden hose. The water should be directed at a steep downward angle from above the unit. This will prevent the water from pushing the dirt further into the coil.
- At the beginning of the cooling season, you may notice a gurgling noise at the sink. This will stop as the trap in the drain fills with condensate water. This water is actually humidity being removed from the air in your house.
*** IMPORTANT NOTE: BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO PERFORM ANY MAINTENANCE, DISCONNECT ALL ELECTRICAL POWER TO THE AIR CONDITIONER BEFORE REMOVING ACCESS PANELS TO PERFORM MAINTENANCE. DISCONNECT POWER TO BOTH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR UNITS. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE (1) ELECTRICAL DISCONNECT SWITCH.
BEFORE REQUESTING A “SERVICE CALL” BE SURE TO CHECK FOR THESE EASY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS:
- Check the indoor and outdoor disconnect switches. Verify that the circuit breakers are in the “ON” position. (Note: The furnace disconnect switch is usually a typical wall light switch mounted on a piece of lumber in the attic adjacent to the furnace.).
- Check for sufficient airflow; check the air filter(s) for an accumulation of dirt. Check for blocked return-air or supply-air grilles. Be sure grilles (and dampers) are open and unobstructed.
- Check the settings of your indoor thermostat. If you desire cooling, see that the temperature control selector is set BELOW the current room temperature and the system switch is in the COOL position. If you require heating, the temperature control selector must be set ABOVE the current room temperature and the system switch is set at HEAT.
- Be sure the furnace blower door panel is properly closed or the fan motor will not operate in either the heating or cooling modes.
If after checking these items, your air conditioning and heating system still fails to operate you should call Tempo Mechanical, the installing contractor, during the first year after closing for warranty service. After the first year warranty has expired, we recommend you contact Tempo Service, (972) 579-2000, for your mechanical systems’ needs, however, the choice of an alternate qualified service company after the first year warranty period is at your discretion and will not affect any extended parts warranties.
Your efficient (80% AFUE Rated) gas furnace has been sized to provide proper air flow for both your heating and cooling needs and will rapidly bring your house to a comfortable temperature even if the house has been allowed to get quite cold inside. Below are some tips to maximize the performance of your heating system.
- Change or clean your air filters every thirty (30) days (year-round) depending on how fast they accumulate dirt.
- Make sure furniture or drapes do not block the return air grilles.
- Operate the fan in the “On” position to help reduce cold or warm air pockets.
- Make sure the furnace has an unobstructed flow of air for combustion. This is mostly of concern for closet located furnaces.
BEFORE REQUESTING A “SERVICE CALL” BE SURE TO CHECK FOR THESE EASY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS:
- Is your thermostat in the HEAT position?
- Is the thermostat set above the current room temperature?
- Is the power supply switch ON?
- Is the furnace blower door on tight? There is a safety switch that will prevent operation of the furnace if the door is ajar.
- Are any circuit breakers tripped?
- Is the manual shut-off valve in the gas supply line leading to the furnace in the open position? The lever should be pointed in the direction the pipe runs for the valve to be open.
If after checking these items, your air conditioning and heating system still fails to operate you should call Tempo Mechanical, the installing contractor, during the first year after closing for warranty service. After the first year warranty has expired, we recommend you contact Tempo Service (972.579.2000) for your mechanical systems’ needs, however, the choice of an alternate qualified service company after the first year warranty period is at your discretion and will not affect any extended parts warranties.
The manufacturer of your air conditioning and heating equipment as well as the installing contractor (Tempo Mechanical) recommends regular maintenance by a properly trained service technician in order to maintain peak efficiency of your system and to minimize the risk of needing emergency service. We recommend routine maintenance inspections at least once each year.